Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe (No Cream) | Easy!

Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe

This authentic creamy carbonara recipe is one of the best Italian recipes! The spiciness of the black pepper and the richness of the egg yolks are the basic characteristics of the traditional homemade Italian carbonara recipe. No cream carbonara tastes so good that this dish just might become your family’s new favorite!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

– This easy carbonara recipe calls for very simple ingredients

– The dish is ready in 20-30 minutes

– While very simple to make at home, this carbonara tastes like a well made restaurant dish

– Carbonara sauce is made of melted Italian cheese and egg yolks that give this dish a unique and rich flavor

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano (aka Parmesan), or even Grana Padano for this carbonara recipe. Some stores might not carry Pecorino Romano, but you probably will be able to find Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano. Make sure your cheese is good quality and is an authentic Italian cheese!

Speghetti or penne are both good types of pasta for this authentic creamy carbonara recipe!

– You can use pancetta or bacon for this recipe, however, traditional carbonara recipe calls for guanciale or pancetta. Guanciale is not easy to find, but pancetta should be available at your local grocery store. The difference between pancetta and bacon is that pancetta is salt-cured while bacon is smoked. I am using raw, not cured, not smoked bacon for my carbonara!

– Does carbonara use whole egg? Yes and no. You need to use 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks if you are making the recipe for 2 people. If you were making this carbonara recipe for 4 people, you would use 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks. It is super important to use yolks in this recipe as they add that rich flavor you won’t get with whole eggs only. So, don’t substitute yolks for whole eggs. In fact, you can even add an extra egg yolk per person!

Ingredients for the Best Carbonara

Makes 2 portions

authentic creamy carbonara ingredients
Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe: Ingredients
  • 200 grams of spaghetti
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40-45 grams of pancetta or bacon (I use raw bacon)
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 45-50 grams of Italian cheese (Pecorino Romano, Parmegiano Reggiano, or Grana Padano) plus more for serving
  • ½ tsp black pepper plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp salt for pasta water

Watch How to Make Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe

Watch how to make this authentic creamy carbonara recipe step by step!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – prepare the tools

The process will require quick action, so it is best to be prepared with all your tools ahead of time. Make sure you have:

  • a medium size pot for boiling pasta,
  • a pan for frying the meat,
  • a metal bowl for the egg mixture,
  • tongs for handling pasta,
  • a spatula to stir the bacon,
  • a whisk for the eggs.

Step 2 – boil the pasta

Boil some water in a kettle and fill the pot just enough to cover the pasta. You want to have as much starch as possible in the pasta water to create the perfect creaminess for your carbonara, for this reason you don’t want to use a huge pot with way too much water.

Add 1 tbsp of sea salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cover the pot. You want to stir your pasta in the beginning so that it doesn’t end up sticking.

Boil the pasta for about 9-10 minutes or until al dente (not quite yet done, but almost).

Step 3 – fry the meat

While your pasta is boiling, chop the bacon (or pancetta) and fry it for about 7 minutes in olive oil on low heat.

frying pancetta for creamy carbonara
Frying Pancetta for Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe

Step 4 – prepare the eggs

While the meat is sizzling away and the pasta is swimming in a hot bath we will prepare the egg and cheese mix. Add the egg and the egg yolks together and whisk. Grate the cheese, add the black pepper, and whisk to combine. Set aside until the pasta is ready.

egg mix for creamy carbonara
Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe: Process

Step 5 – add the pasta with the bacon

When your pasta is ready, transfer it from the pot to the frying pan where the bacon is. Swirl the pasta a little bit so that it pics up the pork fat and the oil from the pan. Leave in the pan until the next step.

Step 6 – bringing the sauce together

Scoop about ½ cup of pasta water out and set aside. Bring the rest of the pasta water to a simmer and place the metal bowl with eggs over it to create a double boiler (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water or the eggs will curdle). Add the pasta to the eggs and start stirring vigorously to make sure you don’t create scrambled eggs. Add the pasta water you set aside to the mix to add more creaminess to the sauce.

If you think your sauce is too thin, then keep the pasta over the boiler for longer until the liquids evaporate and the sauce thickens. If your sauce is too thick, then add more pasta water!

Step 7 – serve and enjoy!

Serve carbonara right away as the sauce will become hard overtime. Top with some black pepper and grated cheese!

Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe: Tips and Tricks

Add those egg yolks! I know, it is tempting to just toss whole eggs into the sauce to avoid wasting food, but trust me, adding yolks without the whites is worth it! I made carbonara before, using whole eggs only, as I hate having egg white sitting in the fridge for days, and I can very confidently say that you will be better off going an extra mile and separating the yolks from the whites. There are plenty of recipes you can use egg whites in! I make pancakes or sandwiches with mine.

– Don’t use regular cheese with this recipe. Make sure to have one (or more) of the following: Pecorino Romano, Parmegiano Reggiano, or Grana Padano. I use Grana Padano in my carbonara and absolutely love it!

Don’t boil your pasta in too much water as it will decrease the concentration of the starch in the pasta water. You need that starch to bring the sauce together!

– If you want to make gluten free carbonara just use gluten free spaghetti or penne.

Serve carbonara fresh. Your pasta dish will harden if you cool and reheat it, however, the flavors will stay intact! I have reheated carbonara before and still liked it a lot!

– Feel free to experiment and make your own carbonara dish. You can add garlic, parsley, chicken, butter, red pepper, even frozen peas. Those might not be the traditional creamy carbonara ingredients, but who said you can’t make this recipe your own?

If you want your pasta to stay creamy for longer you might want to add a bit of heavy cream to the sauce. This is what cooks do in restaurants to keep their carbonara looking fresh and creamy for longer periods of time!

authentic creamy carbonara recipe
Carbonara Recipe No Cream

FAQ for Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe

Should Carbonara Have Cream?

No, authentic carbonara recipe does not include cream. However, there are chefs who use cream in their carbonara recipes to keep the dish creamy and presentable for longer periods of time.

Do You Put Raw Egg in Carbonara?

No, the egg you put into the carbonara cause is cooked over the steam. However, some chefs will add a raw egg yolk to the pasta for serving. You can eat pasteurized eggs raw, but if you are not sure if they are pasteurized or not, it is better to avoid eating the eggs raw.

Why Does My Carbonara Curdle?

If you don’t stir your pasta enough or leave the sauce on high heat, your eggs might scramble. However, the pasta dish will taste great anyway!

Can You Freeze Carbonara?

No, it is not recommended that you freeze carbonara pasta. In fact, it is not recommended to even let it sit in the fridge as the sauce will thicken a lot and the pasta will not be creamy anymore.

Does Carbonara Use a Whole Egg?

Traditional Italian carbonara calls for 1 whole egg plus 1-2 egg yolks per person.

How Do You Cook Pasta?

Spaghetti need about 11 minutes of boiling time to be ready to serve. However, if you are making my authentic creamy carbonara recipe, you want to boil your pasta for a couple minutes less as it will continue cooking over the steam during the last stage.

What’s Next?

Have you made this authentic creamy carbonara recipe at home? I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @natashashome_ and I would love to share your creations in my stories. If you have any questions I did not address in this article, please, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!

Have you tried this Hungarian sweet pasta recipe?

Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe

Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe (No Cream)

Learn how to make traditional Italian Carbonara that tastes like a restaurant dish!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people
Calories 500 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 medium size sauce pan
  • 1 large metal mixing bowl
  • 1 pair of tongs for pasta
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 rubber spatula
  • 1 Frying pan
  • 1 Kitchen scale

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams spaghetti pasta (use gluten free for GF carbonara)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 45-50 grams Italian cheese Parmesan, Pecorino, Grana Padano
  • 40-45 grams pancetta or bacon I use raw bacon
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp salt for pasta water

Instructions
 

  • The process will require quick action, so it is best to be prepared with all your tools ahead of time. Make sure you have:
    a pan for frying the meat, a metal bowl for the egg mixture, tongs for handling pasta, a spatula to stir the bacon, a whisk for the eggs.
  • Boil some water in a kettle and fill the pot just enough to cover the pasta. You want to have as much starch as possible in the pasta water to create the perfect creaminess for your carbonara, for this reason you don’t want to use a huge pot with way too much water.
  • Add 1 tbsp of sea salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cover the pot. You want to stir your pasta in the beginning so that it doesn’t end up sticking.
  • Boil the pasta for about 9-10 minutes or until al dente (not quite yet done, but almost).
  • While your pasta is boiling, chop the bacon (or pancetta) and fry it for about 7 minutes in olive oil on low heat.
    frying pancetta for creamy carbonara
  • While the meat is sizzling away and the pasta is swimming in a hot bath we will prepare the egg and cheese mix. Add the egg and the egg yolks together and whisk. Grate the cheese, add the black pepper, and whisk to combine. Set aside until the pasta is ready.
    egg mix for creamy carbonara
  • When your pasta is ready, transfer it from the pot to the frying pan where the bacon is. Swirl the pasta a little bit so that it pics up the pork fat and the oil from the pan. Leave in the pan until the next step.
  • Scoop about ½ cup of pasta water out and set aside. Bring the rest of the pasta water to a simmer and place the metal bowl with eggs over it to create a double boiler (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water or the eggs will curdle). Add the pasta to the eggs and start stirring vigorously to make sure you don’t create scrambled eggs. Add the pasta water you set aside to the mix to add more creaminess to the sauce.
    double boiler for creamy carbonara
  • If you think your sauce is too thin, then keep the pasta over the boiler for longer until the liquids evaporate and the sauce thickens. If your sauce is too thick, then add more pasta water!
    double boiler for creamy carbonara
  • Serve carbonara right away as the sauce will become hard overtime. Top with some black pepper and grated cheese!

Video

Keyword Authentic Creamy Carbonara Recipe, easy carbonara recipe no cream, How to make creamy carbonara no cream

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